TV Show Review

TV Review: THE STRAIN: Season 3, Episode 6: The Battle of Central Park [FX]

Miguel Gomez The Strain The Battle of Central Park

The Strain: The Battle of Central Park Review

The Strain, season 3, episode 6, ‘The Battle of Central Park,’ was basically A Bridge Too Far. A forgone conclusion in hindsight; but a steady climb to follow – even if you weren’t aware of the steep drop, at the end.

Fet (Kevin Durand) had handed Feraldo (Samantha Mathis) an opportunity to stick a fire cracker in a Stinger nest, and she went for it in a big way. Team Feraldo & Fet (Feret?) came into this episode on a level 9 cloud of anticipation.

What cloud takes you above 9? Ask Fet – his escort, for the mission, was a brief-but-memorable magic ticket-punch, that left him all smiles, and watch-me-work eyes. This was bar date, Kate (America Olivo); but you can call her Captain Rogers, Woman of the 21st Century.

Not even every dagger sheathed in Dutch’s (Ruta Gedmintas) eyeliner could break up that mating dance. Besides giving Dutch & Eph (Corey Stoll) a reason to join the historic event (the retaking of the Park, not the re-acquainting of Fet & Kate), the stop-over at Fet’s was clearly meant to keep Fet-Dutch tensions alive. I can put up with that, so long as Fet & Kate (Fate?) is given a chance. At the very least, the new girl was being granted opportunities to realize just how magic her ticket was (sploosh), as every Fet bravado line brought a ‘lucky gal’ smile to her face.

Easy for her, sure; but sorry, Fet, your smile makes me smile for all the wrong reasons.

There’s something reassuring about a thriller/ horror that goes into a major event optimistically. You know it’s going to go bad; so the higher character hopes, the higher viewer hopes should go for a spectacular fail.

The first skirmish signs were obvious enough, with Deph getting a signal spike, and the head whip-crackers leading the Press Gang mission, and sentries greeting Fet’s return to the nest. Of course the Stragoi knew what was coming; so there was no point in covering up Kelly (Natalie Brown) & Eichorst (Richard Sammel) playing keep-away, with Zach (Max Charles) – Zach being the thing getting tossed, you see… but only metaphorically (turns away, shakes fist) .

The question remained just how badly were things going to go (and what the consolation prize would look like).

Well, as promised, it was a spectacular fail. Better than that, it was not for lack of trying, on the resistance end. Since no one ever asks Setrakian (and few qualified to even know about Quinlan), nobody guessed how many pawns the Master was willing to bring to his game. They got suckered by Suckers, plain & simply.

It might just be me, but I think I noticed enough subtle looks, from around Feraldo’s team, to wonder just how far the recrimination wagon train will bend, and who breaks, along the way. This was an admitted gamble, so expect fall-out.

As for the consolation: Gus & Angel (Miguel Gomez, Joaquín Cosio) got justice more quickly – and directly – than I had expected (Gus with Guns). Since gunfire carries better than coincidence, underground, there was also an organic reunion with Fet. Gus may have even found a new grateful damsel; but I think the biggest consolation prize of all (not involving inflicting Stragoi harm) was the prospects of a double date, for Fet & Gus.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen – just pointing out that Fet was left with someone to still smile about, after things went sideways.

Speaking of things that go sideways, Zach also got one of Kelly’s Spider-kids, as a personal companion/ guard dog. Best/ worst pet ever (if it’s unclear how I felt about it, the answer is: true).

Zach’s handlers seemed to miss the significance of his reading The Maze Runner (and being  a twitch, in general). In the event viewers would miss it, as well, it was simply used as a breadcrumb device. Zach, on the other hand was used as more Eph bait – and Eph bit, of course. He almost got bit, for his knee-jerk predictability; but Eichorst lost his handle on the situation, Dutch was handed some payback, and the the elusive Master’s right hand was left one hand short. Ordinarily, I’d celebrate this little Jedi twist; but Eph was too hung up, on getting an empty hook, to appreciate either the save, or a chance to get while the getting was good.

That’s where the episode lost me – Eph declaring stupid-act-in-the-name-of-sentiment. Fortunately, it was at the end of the episode; so the overall damage was minimal. It does mean there’ll likely be leftover Melondrama, next episode… but I’ll settle for a win on a loss, for now.

Leave your thoughts, on this The Strain ‘The Battle of Central Park’ review, and this episode of The Strain, in the comments section, below. Readers, seeking more The Strain coverage, can visit our The Strain Page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can go to our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page,  our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish  articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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